The Art of Quilting: PIQF Santa Clara Quilting Show 2017

Every year I visit Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) that’s held in October at the Santa Clara Convention Center. There are always classes, lots of vendors, and competition quilts, both local and international ones. 

I do sew, so I take advantage of the multi-day pass, especially since I live so close to the Convention Center. Some people fly in for this show and others are bused in from other parts of California. It’s that good of a show!

I have my own strategy for visiting the event. I first walk it all and look for new things that I haven’t seen before. My second sweep involves going back to the particular booths that caught my interest early on. My third sweep involves trying to find the various fabrics or zippers needed to complete certain projects. 


During my last sweep, I also dedicate time to look at all the competition quilts. I stand at a distance and try to understand the concept and then I look at the work up close and read the description to get a better understanding of what the artist was trying to convey. 

Each year there’s a theme to which people can make quilts in order to compete for a money prize and or a ribbon of recognition. If you think quilting is just your grandma’s traditional quilts, you’re so wrong! 

If you enjoy art whether traditional, modern, impressionistic, etc, you will find a quilt at this show that speaks to you. Okay, not literally, but you know what I’m saying. If not, you will at least appreciate the thousands of hours that people dedicate to their quilts. I don’t have that kind of time or commitment to my craft or the ability these quilters have. 

Also, don’t think that quilting is limited to women. While the majority of quilters are still women, many men are quilters. I have seen many engineers enjoy the Math and visual/spatial challenge of quilting. 

The Cherrywood Challenge had a Disney’s Lion King theme. I’m a Disney fan, so I got very excited to see this particular group of quilts hanging together. 


Win a Trip for 2 to Italy

Prize Description: Now through October 24th, 2017, fans can enter the DaVinci Pasta Endless Pastabilities Sweepstakes for the chance to win the Grand Prize– A Trip for Two to Italy! Round Trip Airfare and hotel accommodations are included. Weekly winners will also be selected to receive prize packs including one (1) DaVinci Branded Apron, (1) DaVinci Utensil Set (4) DaVinci Pasta Products.

Click here to enter. Good luck!

Hurricane Maria Impacts Puerto Ricans Everywhere

My family is from Puerto Rico. I own a house there. Ever since the hurricane hit the island, I haven’t been able to communicate with anyone on the island. I also don’t know if my house there is still standing or if it sustained severe damage. 

Growing up in Puerto Rico means that I lived through many hurricanes. I remember a hurricane in 1998 while I was in high school that caused the island to not have power for a month. Yes, a month. It’s a really hot and tropical climate. Having no power with 90 degrees Fahrenheit, high humidity, and no way to keep the mosquitoes at bay, is tough. Add to that water and phone lines are usually also gone during this process. 

I was pleased to see that Royal Caribbean has sent out a cruise ship to evacuate some of the victims. Link to article. It’s sad to hear that the supplies needed on the island are sitting in crates at the dock because of the lack of diesel available to deliver the goods. Here’s the link to the CNBC article

It’s so frustrating to be so far away and worried for long periods of time with just the hope that everyone and everything will be okay.

Amazon is making it easy to contribute to those affected by the Mexican earthquake, Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Simply click on this link and pick one of the items the Red Cross is requesting for that area and purchase it. Amazon will then deliver it on your behalf. 

Journey to Solar Eclipse 2017

The Solar Eclipse 2017 is a big event for many Americans. There are many people are traveling this weekend so they can witness it first-hand.

Jim left on yesterday, Thursday to Madras, Oregon, which is in the path of totality. As he sends me information, I will update this post.

Madras has a population of 6,200 and is expecting 100,000 visitors this weekend. The total eclipse will last 2 minutes. Solar eclipses crossing the US from coast to coast: 1918, 2017, 2045, and 2099.

These are my eclipse glasses. Made by Jim with welding glass #14 darkness. We used them last time there was an eclipse.

Jim was first in line waiting for the campground to open.

Here’s an early shot as the first campers come into the campground and set-up their tents.

A neighboring camper forgot to pack the rods for his tent. Oops!

These campgrounds don’t have showers available to the guests. In order to shower, you have to take a shuttle to the other side of town and use the showers at the Aquatic Center, and then take another shuttle back. Jim discovered a local gym was offering a weekend pass for showers and it was only a 10-minute walk from camp.

One hour wait for the black line shuttle in Madras.

Campsite view on Saturday morning. It’s starting to get packed in.

Sunday morning. Beautiful hot air balloons are flying over the campsite.

What do you do when you’re waiting for the eclipse? You go to Solarfest.
Q & A with NASA at SolarFest. The current speaker is Daniel Ryan from NASA.

Daniel shared that the moon and the sun appear to be the same size because the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but it is 400 times closer.

SolarFest attire.

This is the line to enter to see the NASA exhibit.

Of course, what natural phenomenon is not complete without lip gloss and a hat. 

The stores in Madras have run out of $1 and $5 bills and are now issuing gold $1 coins. 

Some people fear that there will be a gas shortage, so they are stocking up just in case. 

Add Some Free Money To Your Disney Fund Giveaway

All over social media Disney fans are pouring their hearts out over the loss of the Great Movie Ride. It’s so sad, but in order for there to be progress, change needs to happen. 

I’m hosting a giveaway where one lucky winner will win a $50 Disney Gift Card! Hopefully, that will turn someone’s frown upside down. 

Terms and Conditions: Must live in the U.S or Canada. 

*A Paypal cash option is available if the winner does not want a Disney Gift Card.

Add Some Free Money to Your Disney Fund

Tachi Palace Loft Room Tour

Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino is located in a rural area of Central California. We stayed there to break up our trip from Southern California to Northern California and were impressed with the quality of the rooms. They even have a coffee shop in the lobby that makes Starbucks coffee. Score!

Our room, as you will see in the video is a loft room. It, therefore, had two floors with the bed upstairs. Very spacious and comfortable room. It could easily be used for entertaining like a place for bridesmaids to get ready and mingle before a wedding. 

Dinner Review: Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland, CA

My husband’s favorite ride at Disneyland is the Pirate’s of the Caribbean. If you’ve been on that ride, you might have noticed that you sail by next to a restaurant. That restaurant is called the Blue Bayou. On our most recent trip to Disneyland, we decided to have one our meals there so we could experience it. 

I look at dining as an experience. It’s not just about the food, but also about the atmosphere. 

We made our reservations online. Good thing we did, because the restaurant gets pretty crowded. We got to the restaurant early, checked in, and patiently waited for our name to be called.

Once we were called in, we were escorted to our table. To our disappointment, we couldn’t be any further from the ride. I looked around, in case there was any chance of switching tables, but no, everything was full. So, we took the table we got and made the best out of it. There was no way to pick “a good table”, it was just luck. We did get up and walk over to the edge of the restaurant to see the riders pass by. It was kind of awkward because we stood next to a strangers table in order to be able to see beyond it. 

If you’ve sailed by on the ride, you’ll remember that the area is pretty dark. The restaurant is dark as well. 

We noticed that some people had a glowing ice cube in their drink. It turns out that if you order a lemonade, it comes with a glowing ice cube. We asked if we could get a glowing ice cube in our drinks even though we hadn’t ordered lemonades, and the waitress was happy to get us some. The only problem with that was that the server that refills drinks thinks that glowing drinks are lemonade, so we had to keep a look out for her a shoo her away from refilling our drink with the wrong beverage. 

The menu had some Cajun dishes, not surprisingly, since the restaurant is called the Blue Bayou and the entrance to it is in New Orleans Square. We had some picky eaters with us. Luckily, there were other not Cajun items too and everyone was happy. 

We were all pleased with the food we ordered. We didn’t have dessert, our entrees were plenty filling. 

Overall, it was worth trying out and seeing what it was all about. The food was great, but I felt like the ambiance was lacking. You’re basically eating in a dark restaurant. I would like to see it be redesigned to take more advantage of the view of the people passing by and maybe even have a pirate theme.